Friday, December 23, 2011

Subjects - A "How To"

This is the second installment on subjects.  Originally published a year ago.

Hoquiam River Bright 
10" x 14.75"
Pastel & Charcoal
Casey Klahn

Cindy Michaud asked me to follow up on the previous post about what to leave in, and what to leave out.  In that post, I wrote about finding your subjects, and gave my examples of the river and the prairie.  But, how to find them is the core question.

Would it be obtuse of me to say that your subjects may find you?  Here's what I mean.  Decide what your best recent works are.  Perhaps you have 6 or 10 of them framed that you really feel represent your best work.  What are the subjects?  You find when painting these given things, such as botanicals or wildlife or city streets, that you do your best work.  These are the subjects that sing for you.

Concentrate on these few things that you've identified.  Spend your next several studio sessions just painting these things.  Right now, for me, it is a river in the forest.  Specifically, the Little Hoquiam River, on the coast in Washington state.

Studio Hoquiam River Scenes


Kelly M. said...

Very succinctly, you've nailed one of the most troublesome aspects of being an artist in today's world. Too many choices, too many materials readily at hand. I'm hoping to return to "basics," to clear the clutter. Thank you for sharing this insight, Casey!

Casey Klahn said...

You said it, Kelly. Too many choices when all we need is what speaks to us. Thanks for reading.